About this course

Designed by farmers for farmers with the support of NSW Farmers and delivered by highly experienced drone operator and trainer Ben Watts, this course will teach you how to use drones to collect farm data to make informed decisions in your farm enterprises such as moving and monitoring livestock, checking animal health & wellbeing (including calving & lambing checks) as well as monitoring and maximising the efficiency of farm water systems.

Operating a drone is like any other precision control system ­- with proper planning, set up and confidence to operate safely, it can provide real on-farm benefits.

The course aims to develop knowledge and skills in:
  • Safe and efficient operation of drones in an agricultural context
  • Australian laws related to the use of Remote Pilot Aircraft’s (RPA) for private use
  • Collecting and processing data to improve planning, productivity, water-use efficiency and safety on your farm.

At a glance:

Location: Statewide
Course duration: 1 day face-to-face with pre-course online work
Start date: Multiple intakes
Number of units: 2
Indicative fees:


Nil to eligible applicants

Accredited Course: Yes


  • How to control your drone – get it to return home
  • Setup, procedures and safety checks
  • Basic maintenance and repair
  • Overviews of available drones on the market
  • Australian laws related to the use of RPA’s for private use
  • Collecting and managing aerial images


Nil to eligible applicants*

*Fully subsidised by the NSW Government for eligible applicants To find out whether you are eligible, contact a training coordinator in your area.

This course explores the opportunities drones provide in farming operations by working through 4 steps.

Step 1. Identify the farm area or mapping project

Listing the details of the farm, airspace and requirements will help shape where we can use agricultural drones and which airframe may best suit to cover the area required.

In January 2021 new regulations were introduced around the use of Remote Aircraft on farms. This course addresses the additional requirements along with providing the knowledge to complete the CASA accreditation and registration.

Step 2. Preparation

Using drones in your operation is like any other specialised equipment, preparation is key!

Preparation will cover your hardware, battery or fuel systems, ancillary equipment such as sensors or spreaders and finally air maps to help us plan the airspace we wish to operate in.

Step 3. Operation

At the face-to-face workshop you will have hands-on sessions where you will build skills in a range of equipment setups, prestart checks, fundamental flight drills, refuelling procedures, automated operation, and data retrieval

Step 4. Shutdowns and maintenance

Full shut down and maintenance requirements to ensure safe operations and ensure that your equipment is packed away for safe transit and be ready the next time you require it.

This course is a blend of online and face-to-face training.

  • Pre-workshop online component (reading and video, short quizzes and assessment)
  • 1 full day practical workshop
  • Note this course requires the completion of pre-course work online. You must be able to commit to 1-2 hours of online course work prior to attending the training day.

    This course is mapped to the following national units of competency:

    • AHCMOM311 - Operate precision control technology
    • AVIW0028 - Operate and manage remote pilot aircraft systems

    Additional Information

    For information on students rights and responsibilities, and the Tocal College Code of Practice see Industry qualification student policies.